Pro-independence activists arrested in Hong Kong


HONG KONG: Two Hong Kong independence activists who were barred from taking up their seats as lawmakers last year were arrested and charged Wednesday over chaos at the city’s parliament. Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching were arrested at their apartments Wednesday morning and were charged with illegal assembly and attempted forceful entry into the legislative chamber, Yau told reporters. The pair belong to a new movement calling for a complete split from China for semi-autonomous Hong Kong, as concerns grow the city’s freedoms are under threat. The calls for independence grew out of the failure of the mass Umbrella Movement rallies in 2014 to secure political reform and have infuriated Beijing. The latest arrests come after nine pro-democracy activists—including student protesters and lawmakers—were charged last month for their roles in the 2014 protests in a move slammed by rights groups. The crackdown also comes ahead of an expected visit by China’s President Xi Jinping to mark the 20th anniversary of the handover of the city by Britain back to China in 1997 on July 1.



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